Results tagged ‘ Washington Nationals ’

STAT OF THE DAY (4/14 VS. WAS)

For the Marlins to begin a climb in the National League East standings after 3 consecutive last-place finishes, they’re going to have to fare better in their head-to-head match-ups against division rivals.

Six games into a stretch in which they play 18 of 21 games within the division, the Marlins are 0-6 against NL East opponents this season.

Since the start of last season, Miami is 29-53 within the division, having gone 6-13 against the Braves, 5-17 against the Nationals, 7-15 against the Phillies and 11-8 against the Mets.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Marlins are 14-26 over the last 3 seasons against the Nationals after going 50-21 against Washington in the previous 4 years. The Marlins are 23-50 against the Braves since the start of 2010, and Miami’s 26-50 against Philadelphia beginning in 2010.

The one division rival against which the Marlins have fared well is the Mets. Miami was 11-8 vs. New York in 2013 and is 3-1-1 in the last 5 season series against the Mets.

After losing 3 straight in Washington last week, the Marlins get another shot at the Nationals in a 3-game series that opens up at Marlins Park at 7:10 tonight. Join us for all the action beginning with Marlins On Deck at 6:40 on 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network. A full list of network affiliates—and information about how you can tune in online, on your mobile devices or via satellite radio–is located here: http://glenngeffner.mlblogs.com/2014/03/13/hear-here-2/

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For more on the Marlins and Major League Baseball, follow me on Twitter at @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on new flagship station AM 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network.

PRE-GAME PREP

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A few notes to get you ready for this afternoon’s series finale in Washington, a radio exclusive on 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network at 4:05:

This afternoon’s Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg makes his 15th career appearance vs. Miami today. Over his first 7 starts against the Marlins, the righthander was 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA. In his last 7, the Nats staff ace is 2-2 with a 6.97 ERA.

He’s been feast or famine vs. the Marlins over the years, allowing no runs in 7 of his 14 starts against Miami and only one in an 8th but allowing 5 runs or more in 5 innings or less in 4 other starts against the Marlins.

He’s allowed a career-high 7 runs in a start twice, both times against the Marlins. Strasburg gave up 9 hits in a 2012 start against Miami, matching his career-worst. His 2-inning outing vs. Miami last July 13 at Marlins Park was the shortest non-injury start of his career.

And here are your latest “that was then, this is now” Marlins offensive numbers through the season’s first 9 games:

2013: .217 AVG, .287 OBP, .283 SLG, 16 R, 15 extra-base hits, 2 HR

2014: .287 AVG, .352 OBP, .430 SLG, 49 R, 30 extra-base hits, 5 HR

The Marlins have scored 49 runs through 9 games, 3rd-most in the National League and 4th-most in all of baseball. A season ago, Miami didn’t score its 49th run until its 21st game.

Off to the ballpark. One more here, then we roll on to Philadelphia. Jose vs. A.J. Burnett tomorrow night. For more on Jose, check out my previous Fish Tales post “A Pair of Aces.”

For more on the Marlins and Major League Baseball, follow me on Twitter at @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please click the “Follow” button and enter your email address. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on new flagship station AM 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network.

A PAIR OF ACES

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Stephen Strasburg, who the Marlins will face in Washington tomorrow night, was touted as a once-in-a-generation pitching prospect when he was drafted first overall by the Nationals out of San Diego State University in 2009. And despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010, he’s off to a terrific start to his major league career.

In parts of 5 major league seasons, Strasburg is 29-20 with a 3.04 ERA in 77 starts, and he was an All-Star in 2012.

Two years after Strasburg was drafted and began his professional journey, the Marlins made 18-year-old high school senior Jose Fernandez their top pick, 14th overall in 2011. While Fernandez didn’t enter the draft with nearly as much hype, his big league performance to this point has been historic.

In his debut season, pitching most of the year at age 20 and never having previously appeared above Single-A, Fernandez was chosen the National League’s Rookie of the Year, finished 3rd in Cy Young voting, and was selected to his first All-Star team.

30 starts into his big league career, Fernandez’s immediate impact at the big league level at age 20 and 21 has been historic. Not since Dwight Gooden burst onto the scene with the Mets at age 19 in 1984—30 years ago—has a pitcher so young been so dominant. In some categories, no rookie in history can match what Fernandez did during his remarkable 2013 debut season.

With Fernandez and Strasburg missing each other by one day in this week’s Marlins-Nationals series, here’s a look at how the 2 staff aces compare through their first 30 big league starts.

Note that Strasburg was still in college when he was the same age Jose was at the time of his major league debut. Strasburg was almost 24 when he made his 30th big league start. Jose made his 30th start almost 4 months shy of his 22nd birthday.

Through 30 major league starts:

STRASBURG: 14-5, 2.50 ERA, 169.0 IP, 131 H, 54 R, 47 ER, 39 BB, 216 K, 7.0 H/9 IP,

2.1 BB/9 IP, 11.5 K/9 IP, 1.006 WHIP

FERNANDEZ: 14-6, 2.09 ERA, 185.1 IP, 119 H, 48 R, 43 ER, 60 BB, 204 K, 5.8 H/9 IP,

2.9 BB/9 IP, 9.9 K/9 IP, 0.966 WHIP

Jose has a clear edge in ERA, and has given up significantly fewer hits and runs despite throwing more innings. Strasburg holds edges in having walked fewer and struck out more. Jose has a slightly better overall WHIP (walks + hits divided by innings pitched).

“I would buy a ticket to watch this kid pitch. He’s so competitive. He’s a throwback player. He’s like a guy who played in the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s when you watch him, the way he competes, the way he loves to compete. It’s a good feeling to know every 5th night when he runs out there you have a very good chance to win the ballgame.”

Marlins General Manager Dan Jennings

Just how good a chance do the Marlins have every 5th day? The Marlins are 20-10 in his career starts with wins in 16 of the last 20. Since the start of 2013, Miami has a .667 winning percentage in games he’s started. In games Jose doesn’t start, the Marlins are 47-93, a .336 winning percentage.

MORE ON JOSE

Jose, whose next home start ought to come next Wednesday night against the Nationals, is 11-0 with a 1.14 ERA (14/110.2 IP) in 17 career starts at Marlins Park, including his 2 wins on the season-opening homestand.

The righthander has allowed 3 runs or less in 27 of 30 big league starts, 2 or less in 24, one or less in 16 and no runs in 9 of his starts.

He has never allowed more than 8 hits in a start and has allowed 5 or fewer in 26 of his 30 starts, including each of his last 17 and 22 of his last 23. According to research I did using Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index, going back to 1914, only one pitcher has gone more than 17 consecutive starts allowing 5 hits or fewer. It’s actually an active 20-game streak by Tony Cingrani of the Reds.

Jose has allowed 2 runs or fewer in each of his last 13 starts, a streak that began July 13, 2013, in his first start after last year’s All-Star break. That matches Josh Johnson’s Marlins club record set from May 13-July 22, 2010. According to additional Play Index research, only 6 major league starters have had longer such streaks since 1914.

Ferdie Schupp went 16 in a row for the New York Giants in 1916-17. Mat Latos went 15 in a row for the Padres in 2010. Al Benton went 15 in a row for the Tigers in 1945. Mike Scott went 14 in a row for the Astros in 1986. Greg Maddux went 14 straight for the Braves in 1993-94. And Zack Greinke has an active run of 14 in a row for the Dodgers dating to July 30 of last season.

Finally, as Jose gets set to face the Phillies for the first time in 2014 on Friday night, current Phillies position players are a combined 2-for-41 (.049) with 14 strikeouts and no extra-base hits against him. In 3 starts against the Phils as a rookie, Jose was 1-0 with a 0.50 ERA. In 18 innings, he allowed one run on 8 hits with 4 walks and 16 strikeouts.

For more on the Marlins and Major League Baseball, follow me on Twitter at @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please click the “Follow” button and enter your email address. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on new flagship station AM 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network.

THIS AND THAT

A few numbers I’ve thrown together as we get set for a 12:40 first pitch at Marlins Park, with the Marlins looking for a win to close out a 5-1 homestand:

With a win today, the Marlins would sweep the Cubs in a series of 3 or more games for the first time since 2007.

A look at the Marlins’ home-road offensive splits, having now played 6 games at Marlins Park and 6 games away from home:

HOME: .275 AVG, .341 OBP, .415 SLG, 5 RPG, 5 HR

ROAD: .236 AVG, .274 OBP, .404 SLG, 3.5 RPG, 6 HR

The Marlins established season highs with 9 runs and 14 hits in last night’s 9-1 win over the Cubs.  They’ve scored 5 runs or more in 4 of their last 5 games after scoring a total of 20 runs through their first 7, averaging fewer than 3 per game to open the year.

The Marlins have gone deep 5 times in the last 3 games, after connecting for only 6 homers in their first 9.

Having homered in 3 consecutive games for the 6th time in his career, Hanley has run his career long ball total to 138, tying Miguel Cabrera for 3rd in Marlins history. He trails only Dan Uggla (154) and Mike Lowell (143).

With 9 hits in his last 15 AB’s (including 3 homers and 10 RBI in that span), Hanley is batting .283 with 4 homers and 12 RBI through his first 12 games.  A season ago, he batted .200 in 23 April contests with no homers and 9 RBI.

With Emilio Bonifacio leading the way with 7 steals in 7 attempts, one shy of NL leader Dee Gordon of the Dodgers, the Marlins are tied with the Braves and Phillies for the NL lead with 12 stolen bases, while being caught only 3 times.

Bonifacio has reached base at least once in all 12 games this season. He’s 8th in the league with a .444 OBP and has 5 multiple-hit games, including a pair in the last 2 nights.

No Marlins pitcher has a sacrifice bunt yet. The Marlins’ only successful sac bunt was dropped down by Chris Coghlan.

Up next: a 6-game trip to Washington and New York.  The pitching match-ups for the Nats series are Carlos Zambrano-Ross Detwiler Friday night, Anibal Sanchez-Stephen Strasburg Saturday afternoon and Josh Johnson-Gio Gonzalez on Sunday.  Looking ahead to the Mets series, which begins Tuesday night at Citi Field, we should get Mark Buehrle-R.A. Dickey on Tuesday, Ricky Nolasco-Jonathan Niese on Wednesday and Carlos Zambrano-Mike Pelfrey in the Thursday road trip finale.

Then, it’s home for 4 against the D-Backs before we hit the road for 9 games in San Francisco, San Diego and Houston. So after today’s game, the Marlins play 15 of their next 19 away from Marlins Park.

Gonna miss this place!

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

ETC.

As the Marlins prepare to open a 3-game series with the Cubs at Marlins Park tonight, a few nuggets I’ve dug up for your enjoyment:

The Marlins lead the all-time series with Chicago 77-76.  The Cubs, Expos/Nationals and Brewers are the only 3 National League franchises against whom the Marlins are above .500 all-time. Miami is 169-129 (.567) against the Expos/Nationals franchise and 51-50 (.505) against Milwaukee. The 169 wins against Montreal and Washington are the franchise’s most all-time against any opponent. Next on the list, the Mets, against whom Miami is 147-154 all-time. On the other end of the spectrum, the Marlins’ worst all-time winning percentage against an NL foe is their .388 mark against the Giants.  Miami is just 57-90 all-time against San Francisco. While history indicates the Marlins might look forward to their visits to Washington and New York on this next road trip, they may dread their upcoming trip to San Francisco, just around the corner, May 1-3.

Through 4 games at Marlins Park, the Marlins have drawn 4 crowds in excess of 30,000.  That matches the number of 30,000-plus crowds the Marlins drew ALL SEASON over 81 games at Sun Life in 2011.

Records by jersey color so far…Orange: 1-0, Black: 3-4, White: 0-2.

Marlins pitchers allowed 20 walks in the 3 games against Houston over the weekend; however, only 3 of the free passes came around to score.  They’d walked a total of only 12 opposing hitters through the season’s first 7 games.

On the flip side, Marlins hitters drew 11 walks over the weekend against the Astros, including a season-high 6 on Sunday, after they’d coaxed only 10 walks in their first 7 games combined.

The Marlins are 3-0 when they homer and 1-6 when they do not.

Miami relief pitchers have stranded 9 of 11 inherited runners through the season’s first 10 games.

Carlos Zambrano has a pair of no-decisions despite leaving both of his first 2 starts on line for a victory.  Zambrano’s been terrific after the first inning.  He’s allowed 4 first-inning runs his first 2 times out for an 18.00 ERA in the first.  He’s allowed just 1 run over the other 10 innings he’s worked for a 0.90 ERA after the first.

Omar Infante hit his 4th home run of 2012 in his 9th game and 31st at-bat Sunday against the Astros. A season ago, he hit #4 in his 129th game and 497th AB.

With 7 hits in his last 8 at-bats, Sunday’s hero Hanley Ramirez has his season average at .282.  That’s higher than at any point in 2011, when he peaked at .256 on April 14 and was last at .250 on July 20 en route to a .243 finish. 

Hanley’s gone deep twice in 10 games (39 at-bats) so far. A season ago, he didn’t hit his 2nd home run until his 34th game and AB #126.

Giancarlo Stanton’s yet to go deep through his first 9 games and 35 at-bats. It should, however, be noted that the slugger formerly known as Mike didn’t slug his first long ball until his 14th game and 38th at-bat en route to 34 homers in 2011.

Josh Johnson tonight faces the Cubs for the first time since August 15, 2008.  He’s 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in 3 games (2 starts) against Chicago all-time. 

JJ has allowed 21 hits in 9.2 innings over his first 2 starts this season, with the opposition hitting .447. Last April, when he was 3-0 with a 0.88 ERA in 6 starts, Josh allowed only 18 hits in 41.0 innings for a .130 opponents’ average.

Of the 21 hits JJ has allowed, 19 have been singles. The only 2 extra-base hits he’s surrendered were both doubles.

Neither Carlos Zambrano nor Chris Volstad, who were traded for one another this winter, will pitch in this series.  Zambrano had spent his entire career with the Cubs, while Volstad had always been a Marlin, drafted in the first round in 2005.

Miami is 2-0 in games started by opposing lefthanders (Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ) and 2-6 in games started by opposing right-handers.

 

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

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